Get to know Campos Racing’s Hunter Yeany a little better, as the American rookie dives into his biggest successes behind the wheel, his racing heroes and his favourite way to chill out when he’s not driving.
NAME: Hunter Yeany DATE OF BIRTH: 11/05/2005 NATIONALITY: American 2022 TEAM: Campos Racing
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
“I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. Then when I was two, I moved to Virginia Beach, and I’ve spent the rest of my life here. I grew up near the beach and I've been going in the water almost my whole life. My dad was a Navy SEAL, so he’s pretty good with the water and the ocean.
“I started surfing five years ago and it’s pretty cool. The weather’s really nice here most of the time, it’s not nice all year round, but during the summer it’s great. Outer Banks is two hours from my house and that’s kind of what the scenery looks like around here.”
FIRST RACING MEMORY
“I don’t even know how old I was, but I think I was maybe nine years old, and I tried a professional go-kart for the first time. I don’t remember much from the day, but I remember my dad got me up really early in the morning. We flew down to North Carolina because that’s where the closest track was.
“He put me in a go-kart and I basically ran laps the whole day. It was one of the coolest experiences ever because I remember being like ‘this is my first time – this is so cool’. I had a dream the night before that I was going to go the wrong way, but then the next day it turned out to be pretty easy.”
“Aggressive. Throughout my whole career I’ve been pretty aggressive when making moves and passing people, trying to move forward. The first opportunity I get, I usually go for it. You just feel like the time is right and you go for it.”
“My favourite driver is Niki Lauda. I’ve liked him for quite a long time because it seemed like he knew a lot of things about the cars and what he needed from them, and I’ve always looked up to that.
“If I were to choose a current driver I look up to, it would be George Russell. He seems to always overperform, comes to races and delivers. For instance, last year in the Williams, he’d qualify pretty high up the grid. Then this year in the Mercedes, he’s qualified pretty high too and gotten good results.”
BIGGEST RACING ACHIEVEMENT
“Winning the F4 US Championship – that's my biggest achievement so far, but I’m trying to go for bigger achievements in the future to top that one.
“In my karting career, I didn’t really win a lot. I got on the podium, but I never won a race, so going into my first year in cars and winning was very cool. I’d worked really hard to get to that point to try to win the Championship, so it felt like ‘ah man, that’s nice!’. Finally getting rewarded for all the work.
“I won the Championship at Homestead, Miami and one of the guys who helped around the track threw a party in one of the meeting rooms for me. He made a paella and that was the first time I’d ever tried it – it wasn’t even in Spain!
BEST THING ABOUT BEING A RACING DRIVER
“Going fast, doing what you love and the adrenaline. That feeling of being on the edge is one of a kind, especially when you’re driving a car. You get out and sometimes you would be a little nervous when you go into a race, but that’s the fun in it.
“That’s one thing you have to remember – you're doing it because you love it, not because someone else is making you do it.”
HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM RACING?
“I work in a balance of opposites kind of way. Racing is always very on the move, sometimes kind of stressful. Usually, I counter that when I go home. I’ll still do all the things I need to do like working out, but most of the time I’ll either go surfing, fishing or skateboarding.
“I really like to go with my friends. Whenever I can go with them, it’s nice because you paddle out a little bit, stay on your board, talk to each other and have a nice conversation – catch waves occasionally. It’s a chill and relaxing day.
“I don’t do any skateboarding tricks or anything like that just because I can’t afford to get hurt. I like longboarding.”
FAVOURITE TRACK ON THE F3 CALENDAR
“I’ve been to all of them except Budapest. I like Spa, maybe when it’s not drenched like last year. That was interesting going into my first F3 race and not even being able to see into Turn 1.
“It’s an old school, high speed, sketchy track and that’s part of what makes it fun, adding to the adrenaline rush. Being like ‘ooh I’m going to Spa’ and the historic races that have happened there. Then you have Eau Rouge, that was cool. The first time I ever went through it was in a British F3 race that I did three weeks prior to the F3 event. I remember when I went around the corner and up and it was bigger than I thought. Going up and over it, I was thinking ‘man, now I can say I’ve gone up Eau Rouge.’”